State Pension provides essential financial support to more than 12.4 million older people across the UK, including some 981,399 Scots.
This regular payment is available to those who have reached the UK Government’s eligible retirement age, which is now 66 for both men and women.
The state pension is not paid automatically, it must be claimed by those who are of eligible age, as some people choose to defer claiming in order to continue working and contribute more to their retirement pot. However, many older people may be missing out on an extra benefit they might be entitled to which is now worth £247.40 or £369.60 every four weeks, following the 3.1% increase applied on April 11.
Some people of state pension age and older don’t apply for Attendant’s Allowance, a benefit that helps people meet day-to-day expenses and can help them stay independent longer in their own homes. .
As the nation tries to manage household budgets in the face of soaring energy bills, rising inflation and rising cost of living, now is the perfect time for seniors to ensure that they claim all the financial support to which they are entitled.
Many people are eligible for Attendance Allowance, but may not know enough to apply.
Here’s everything you need to know about the benefit, including the 57 main categories of disabling conditions that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) describes as the “main medical reason for claim”.
What is the attendance allowance?
Attendance allowance helps to cover extra costs if you have a physical or mental disability or a sufficiently serious illness which prevents you from looking after yourself – it does not cover mobility needs.
You don’t need to have someone looking after you to make a claim.
Who can claim?
You must apply for Attendance Allowance if you have a disability or illness and need assistance or supervision throughout the day or at certain times of the night, even if you are not currently receiving of this help.
This could include:
Help with personal care – for example, getting dressed, eating or drinking, getting to bed and getting up, taking a bath or shower and using the toilet
Help to stay safe
You should also apply if you have difficulty with personal tasks, such as if they take up a lot of your time, if you are in pain, or if you need physical assistance, such as a chair to lean on.
Attendance allowance is not restricted to people with a physical disability or illness.
You should also claim if you need help or supervision throughout the day or night and you have:
Assistance allowance main invalidity conditions
Medical conditions are derived from information recorded on the DWP’s assistance allowance computer system.
The DWP indicates that when multiple conditions are present, the main disabling condition is reported.
It is important to note that this list is not a checklist for applying for Attendance Allowance, it is intended to help people understand what type of conditions are supported. However, if you require additional assistance during the day or night due to a long-term illness, disability, or medical condition, you should consult the official eligibility guidelines on the GOV.UK website. here.
57 categories offering assistance allowance support
- Back Pain – Other/Precise Diagnosis Not Specified
- Disease of the muscles, bones or joints
- Trauma to limbs
- heart disease
- Chest disease
- Cystic fibrosis
- Cerebrovascular disease
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Neurological diseases
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- motor neuron disease
- Chronic pain syndromes
- Diabetic sugar
- Metabolic disease
- Traumatic paraplegia/tetraplegia
- Major trauma other than traumatic paraplegia/tetraplegia
- learning difficulties
- Personality trouble
- Behavior disorder
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Hyperkinetic syndrome
- Kidney disorders
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Intestine and stomach disease
- Blood disorders
- Multi-system disorders
- Multiple allergy syndrome
- skin disease
- malignant disease
- severely mentally handicapped
- Double amputee
- deaf blind
- Total parenteral nutrition
- Infectious diseases: Viral disease – Coronavirus covid-19
- Infectious diseases: Viral disease – precise diagnosis not specified
- Infectious diseases: Bacterial disease – Tuberculosis
- Infectious diseases: Bacterial disease – precise diagnosis not specified
- Infectious diseases: Protozoan disease – Malaria
- Infectious diseases: protozoan disease – other / precise diagnosis not specified
- Infectious diseases – other / precise diagnosis not specified
- Cognitive impairment – other / specific diagnosis not specified
- terminally ill
The DWP guidance adds: “From March 2020, temporary changes to the processing of new and existing Care Benefit claims within the DWP have resulted in an increase in the number of cases registered with an unknown primary disabling condition.
“This follows a procedural easement put in place in response to increased operational activity during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
How much can I receive on the assistance allowance?
You could receive £61.85 if you need help during the day or night or £92.40 if you need help during the day and night, or are terminally ill.
The benefit is paid every four weeks, meaning you could receive £247.40 or £369.60 each pay period.
You can spend the money however you see fit and it could help you stay independent for longer in your own home.
This could include:
Can I apply for Attendance Allowance even if I have savings and other income?
Yes. The Attendance Allowance is not means-tested, so it doesn’t matter how much money you receive or how much you save – there is no limit.
it’s also tax-free, and you’ll be exempt from the benefit cap, so you won’t lose money on other benefits.
Will Attendance Allowance affect my state pension?
No, this will not affect your state pension and you can even claim it if you are still working and earning money.
How does Attendance Allowance affect other benefits?
Other benefits you receive may increase if you receive Attendance Allowance, including:
How to make a complaint?
You will need to complete a lengthy claim form when you apply for Attendance allowance.
It may seem daunting at first, but help is available from your nearest Advice to citizensso don’t let the form deter you from applying.
If you prefer to do it yourself, you can follow the Advice for Citizens guide on how to complete your claim form. here.
Full details on how to obtain the application form by mail or telephone can be found on the GOV.UK website here.
What happens if I am about to reach the legal retirement age?
If you plan to apply for Attendance Allowance when you reach retirement age, you may be better off applying for the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) straight away – you may be able to get more money.
If you apply for PIP and get it, the amount you receive will depend on your situation and how your disability or illness affects you.
Learn more about applying for PIP here.
Who is not eligible for attendance allowance?
You will not be able to obtain an assistance allowance if you already benefit from a PIP or a DLA to pay for your care.
If you apply for Attendance Benefit while earning DLA, the DWP will usually reassess your DLA award instead.
You can renew your PIP or DLA when the existing reward ends as long as you still meet the eligibility criteria.
If your renewal fails, you can apply for Attendance Allowance instead.
Read more about Attendance Allowance on the GOV.UK website here.